Matthew (Matthew 9) | Craft 1


With the use of a Soroban abacus on the worksheet I decided to have a go at crafting a simple one.

This craft can be used for either a Soroban abacus or a more traditional one. There is no template, just follow the instructions. (A template would actually make it harder!)


Start with a rectangle of card, a good hole punch, some thread or string, a selection of beads, and a pair of scissors.

Start by marking out on your card the shape of the abacus. If you want a traditional abacus you only need to fold up the two ends, if you want a Soroban abacus you need to make a ridge in the middle as well.


Once you have your card marked, fold it and put three holes in each raised piece. Try to line them up. Then thread your string through the holes threading the beads as you go. Remember to tie the ends firmly round the card.

(The light green paper in the photo is there so the white beads show up better, do ignore it)


A standard abacus has 9 beads on each string, a Soroban abacus has 5, 4 on the large partition and 1 on the small partition.

You will find as you pull the string the ridges stay in place. If you wish you can leave your abacus here.

I have differentiated between the earth beads (pictured black) and the heaven beads (pictured white). This abacus will count up to 999.


To make your abacus more sturdy, to stop it folding in on itself, and to decorate it, take another piece of card and stick your abacus to it.

To decorate I used sticky plastic strips to wrap under the beads and around the whole frame. You could do this before or after threading.

If you wish you can add a message to the back of your abacus.




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